Category: Book Reviews

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Help Students Energize Their Nonfiction Writing

Making Nonfiction from Scratch contains practical strategies, techniques, and case studies interspersed with anecdotal humor. Ralph Fletcher’s ideas will challenge and inspire teachers to leave their comfort zone and rethink the purpose and possibilities of nonfiction writing.

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Why We Need to Rethink Grading Practices

After reviewing the history of grading, Cathy Vatterott shares reasons for implementing a progressive standards-based grading system, noting the challenges as well as the benefits. Teacher Michael DiClemente sees the need for research-based changes but wonders how to get there.

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Ditch That Textbook to Free Your Teaching

In Ditch That Textbook, educator Matt Miller helps teachers reflect on their current practice and find better ways to make a difference in the lives of their students, says educator Laura Von Staden. His acronym – Different, Innovative, Tech-laden, Creative and Hands-on – reveals his philosophy.

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A Resource to Support RTI in Secondary Schools

William N. Bender explains how to effectively use RTI in conjunction with differentiated instruction and technology strategies in all subject areas. Reviewer Sarah Iriogbe-Efionayi joins him in anticipating RTI’s move into secondary schools and its potential to significantly change instruction there.

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Modeling Transforms the Writing Classroom

Write This Way: How Modeling Transforms the Writing Classroom is a teacher-friendly guide to implementing modeling as a fundamental part of each step of the writing process. Teacher Jennifer Floyd says Kelly Boswell’s book clarifies modeling, interactive writing, and shared writing.

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Math Workshop in Action: Strategies for Gr K-5

Nicki Newton’s comprehensive book guides educators through setting up a Math Workshop, beginning with creating a community of learners in a math-rich classroom. Linda Biondi likes her “practical and specific ways to become the math teacher you always wanted to be.”

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Develop Thinking and Writing with Argument

In “Argue with Me” Deanna Kuhn et al present a full curriculum on teaching argument, informed by their research in low income schools. Used in full or in part, the process can benefit thinking & writing skills, says Mary Langer Thompson.

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An Unhelpful Guide for Special Ed Teachers

For teachers considering a career in Special Education, an area of critical need, reviewer Laura Von Staden fears that those readers may not finish That’s Special feeling equipped or encouraged to teach this group of students and may decide not to enter the field.